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Hamilton takes aim at radio ban after frustrating day at the European Grand Prix

Mercedes revealed that the victorious Nico Rosberg was able to fix the issue that beset the world champion.

Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton.
Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton.

LEWIS HAMILTON LAMENTED his inability to compete in the European Grand Prix today after an incorrect set-up and Formula One’s radio restrictions wrecked his race in Baku.

Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg stormed to victory in F1′s first visit to Azerbaijan’s capital, Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez rounding off the podium.

Hamilton started 10th on the grid but could only make his way to fifth after suffering a loss of power, with the reigning world champion becoming increasingly frustrated at his team not being able to tell him how to fix his problem.

“I don’t see the benefit,” Hamilton told Sky F1 of F1′s radio ban. “The FIA have made Formula One so technical. To have at least 100 different switch positions, there’s no way for me to know — however much I study — what the problem was.

“It’s just a shame I couldn’t race. I wanted to race. If I’d been able to resolve the power situation I could have been part of the show, but it wasn’t to be so it’s the way it is.”

Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda revealed that Rosberg had also suffered with the same issue, although he was able to fix it much quicker than Hamilton.

“It is difficult and in this case it was a discussion about engine modes and we can’t tell them,” Lauda said. “It was a problem they both had and Nico could fix it quicker than Lewis. The [radio] ban is there, so we all have to adapt.

“We would’ve got a penalty and we would’ve been further back so no-one wants to risk that. Lewis did not get the speed out of the car that Nico did.”

Azerbaijan F1 GP Auto Racing Nico Rosberg celebrates his win on the podium as third-placed Sergio Perez watches on. Source: Luca Bruno

Nico Rosberg was serene as he led the European Grand Prix from the front as Baku’s Formula One debut failed to live up to pre-race premonitions of on-track carnage.

World championship leader Rosberg led the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel home, with Sergio Perez picking up a second podium spot of the season in third.

Lewis Hamilton had looked the man to beat in practice, but a qualifying crash meant he started 10th, before technical issues — and the aforementioned radio ban — beset him after the midway point and he finished fifth.

Rosberg ended his three-race run without a podium in emphatic fashion to stretch his advantage over Hamilton in the drivers’ championship to 24 points.

A bizarre inability to handle rain in Monaco and a struggle in Montreal traffic had opened the door for Hamilton, but the German pounced on his team-mate’s weekend woes with all the ruthlessness of a champion in the making.

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